Lloyd rising

It's taken a long time for Brandon Lloyd to show what he's really capable of.

He had stints in San Francisco, Washington and Chicago before the Denver Broncos signed him in June 2009. Then he even sat the first 14 games with the Broncos before getting a chance to dress for a ball game.

Throughout that time, it would have been fair to call him nothing more than a talented journeyman. Things change. In his eighth year, Lloyd is now just 32 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard season. He also has six touchdown receptions.

Best vs. best?

The sideshow may be better than the actual show today when the 4-5 Houston Texans visit the 7-2 New York Jets. The sideshow pits Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson vs. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.

"You could say you have arguably the best receiver in the league against the best DB in the league," Johnson said. "When you play this game, you want to go against the best to see where you're at in your game. I'm pretty sure he's looking forward to the challenge. I'm looking forward to it, too."

Brady vs. Peyton

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Colts quarterback Peyton Manning square off for the 12th time in their careers today.

Brady has a 7-4 record against Manning with a 92.6 passer efficiency rating. Manning has an 82.6 rating.

Brady won the first six meetings between the all-decade quarterbacks, but Manning has won four of the last five.

Manning has had five 300-yard games this year, Brady two. Both have thrown 20 TD passes, but Manning has 16 interceptions to Brady's 12 picks.

New winning way

The Buccaneers won at the start of the 2000s because of their defense. But they are winning at the start of this decade despite their defense.

The Bucs rank 22nd in the NFL in defense, 31st against the run and 32nd in sacks. Tampa Bay has failed to sack a quarterback in five of its nine games this season and has a single sack in two other contests. Yet the Bucs sit at 6-3, very much in the thick of the playoff race.

Take a bow, Josh Freeman. Four of the six Tampa Bay victories came courtesy of Freeman fourth-quarter comebacks.